Bobby completed his Bachelor and Masters of Science by the tender age of 21 - during the summer of 2009/10, before completing a Māori internship in environmental economics with Suzi Kerr at Motu as a part of his Graduate Diploma in Economics at Waikato.
Hailing from Hamilton, Bobby attended the University of Waikato where in 2007 he graduated with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Chemistry, graduating again in 2010 with a Masters in Science with first class honours in Chemistry. Bobby has iwi links with Ngāti Maniapoto, Tainui and Ngāpuhi.
At Motu, Bobby worked with Suzi Kerr and the Motu environmental economics team on a review of the Afforestation Grants Scheme, a scheme initiated by the New Zealand Government as a means of promoting the planting of new forests (afforestation) as a means of carbon sequestration. After completing the internship, Bobby then took a position as policy and research analyst at the Federation of Māori Authorities, which fosters economic advancement for Māori.
Bobby began studying towards his PhD in chemistry at Oxford University in October 2011, having been awarded the Sir Robert Mahuta Scholarship. See the University of Waikato press release.
The Māori internship programme is aimed at promising young students of Māori descent, giving them an opportunity to work with top internationally-recognised researchers who have extensive public policy knowledge. The experience provides a good introduction to how a researcher’s future work could impact on wider contexts and policy. We also see this as an opportunity for building longer term relationships between current and future researchers, and between research and policy communities and Iwi, with a view to improving New Zealand research questions and policy outcomes.